ARLINGTON, Virginia – It turns out that hockey and tennis go very well together.
Frances Tiafoe, the 16th-ranked men’s singles tennis player in the world and a native of Hyattsville, Md., stopped by the Washington Capitals’ practice Tuesday and stayed afterward to hit a few balls with the players on the ice.
Defenders Trevor van Riemsdyk And Rasmus Sandinahead Tom Wilson, Hendrix Lapierre And TJ Oshie and goalkeeper Charlie Lindgren were among those who tested their skills against Tiafoe, who reached the quarterfinals of the US Open this year after qualifying for the semifinals in 2022.
“Really cool,” Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said. “I obviously know who he is and I’ve followed his career, but then we watched yesterday as a PBS crew do a special and it was fascinating because it kind of gives the story of his origin in the DMV area (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia), how he was raised and how this community area means so much to him and who he is as a tennis player. It kind of shaped him.
After Carbery brought Tiafoe onto the ice to introduce him to the players at the end of practice, Wilson, van Riemsdyk and Lapierre took turns shooting volleys with Tiafoe at center ice. Later, Wilson, Sandin and Oshie (using a hockey stick) attempted to return Tiafoe’s serve, which he threw from off the ice into the space between the benches. Lindgren dove to catch one of Tiafoe’s serves with his glove.